French Open 2017 : Roll of Honour

From Nadal's tenth to Ostapenko's first coupled with some other unexpected winners.

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The French Open – also called Roland Garros after the venue of the competition – concluded earlier today with Rafael Nadal rolling back his years of dominance at the clay of Paris.

In a round-up, let us just scroll through the important talking points about this year’s edition at the French capital.

  1. Rafael Nadal – the most successful player of all time at the Roland Garros – picked up his TENTH title of his career (the most awaited La Decima) over his victory over the 2015 champion and the defending US Open winner Stan Wawrinka. The Mallorcan – who won here four in a row between 2005 and 2008 and then five straight titles from 2010 to 2014 – became the first singles tennis star in the Open era and first male ever to win a particular major ten times. Australian Margaret Court was the only other racqueeter to do so – winning Australian Open for 11 times. Nadal has now won 15 Grand Slam singles title and is three short of Roger Federer’s 18. The final loss was also Wawrinka’s first at Grand Slam title round – he won each of his last three major finals.
  1. Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia became the first unseeded women’s singles winner at the French Open since 1933 after she cut short Simona Halep’s charge to world number 1. Ranked 47 a fortnight ago going into the draw, Ostapenko’s feat is a first in a list of many. It is her first tour title that makes her the first since Gustavo Kuerten’s French Open win in 1997 to bag the first professional silverware at a major. Coincidentally, Kuerten’s historic win was claimed on the very day that Ostapenko was born. And of course, it was the first time for a Latvian flag to fly as high at a Slam. The win by the 20-year old also kept Angelique Kerber atop the rankings for the time being.
  1. The American-New Zealander pair of Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus won the men’s doubles over American-Mexican duo of Santiago Gonzalez and Donald Young. None of the pairs was seeded and none of the four had any significant performance at the Grand Slam stage till this fairy tale run. The quartet collectively has won just 19 titles in the tour so far – with Young yet to open his account. With just three seeds staying alive after the pre-quarters, the doubles field was really one for the underdogs this year.
  1. The Czech-American partnership of Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won their third straight Grand Slam title after the US Open last season and the Australian Open this year. Their fifth career major title together came at the expense of the unseeded all-Australian pair of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua. Another moment of heart-break for the Aussies as the 32-year old Dellacqua is yet to win a major in the discipline despite playing seven finals – four of them with Barty who is 11 years her junior. The duo together has now earned a plate each at all four Slams – three of them coming in 2013. On the other hand, a Wimbledon win will make the Safarova–Mattek-Sands pair the sixth women’s double team to win the team Grand Slam.
  1. The Indo-Canadian duo of Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski won the first Grand Slam of their respective careers. The seventh seeded pair got the better of Colombian-German combination of Robert Farah and Anna-Lena Gronefeld.

Photo by Semio

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